Lifelong learner gives students nutritional and spiritual boost at exam time

After 50 years of continuous education, Bernarda Doctor knows what it's like to need a bit of a boost come exam time. So on Monday, the official last day of exams, she bought a bunch of cookies and other treats, set up a table in the Market Place at the CAW Student Centre, and handed them out to gradteful students as they passed by.

"I just thought I had to do something for the students right away," said Doctor, who taught home economics at the University of Windsor in the early 1960s, and then taught the same subject at St. Anne's High School for 28 years. "For me it's really just a recollection of what it's like to be a student."

Even though she taught for as long as she did, Doctor has been continually taking classes for the last 50 years. This past semester she took a course in music, one on international finance and another on social services. The last two, she said, were especially helpful because she runs a charity that helps homeless children in the Philippines.

After having been both a teacher and a student for so long, Doctor said she knows what it feels like to be drained at the end of the semester.

"Anything I can do to support their spirit," she said. "It's a spiritual boost."